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What is Energy Accounting?

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  rev. 10/29/2010        

For an energy management plan to be successful, it must include information on past and current energy use, demand (in the case of electricity) and cost.  Without this information it is impossible to understand or communicate in any measurable way the progress of the overall energy management plan.

Energy accounting is the practice of systematically processing utility invoices with a view to controlling costs.  It is used to identify trends, spot billing errors, and reveal areas of high usage that warrant closer investigation.  It is also used to track and report the results of an energy management program.

In addition, energy accounting is a powerful tool for managing the commercial relationship that any building owner has with utility providers.

Many organizations are reactive in their treatment of energy costs; i.e. they pay the invoices as they arrive and scramble to find answers when costs look out of line.  Energy accounting is the proactive management of energy bills to make informed decisions around energy use and energy costs.  Ongoing energy accounting should be considered seriously by any enterprise that owns more than one building and in which energy costs are a significant part of overall operating costs.

An energy accounting system answers these questions:

What are the patterns of energy use across our building portfolio?  Which buildings are high energy users and which ones are more efficient?
Where should we be putting our energy conservation emphasis?
Which building operators should be rewarded and which ones may need further training?
How much should we budget?
Of the competing rate tariffs from various suppliers, which ones should we choose?

... and after opportunities are implemented:

How much did we really save?

A complete Energy Accounting system must include the ability to track results of an energy conservation program, to determine if conservation objectives were achieved.  ManagingEnergy  is compliant with Option C of the IPMVP protocol.

Undertaken together, Energy Accounting and Energy Auditing form the foundation for the management and control of utility costs in buildings.

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